An essential part of any beauty routine is taking proper care of your tools, which raises the question: How best to clean your makeup brushes as fear of germs reaches an all-time high? No matter how flawlessly your favorite pointed concealer or powder-diffusing iterations may still perform, the only way to keep them bacteria-, dust-, and dirt-free is with a weekly washing, says the makeup artist Troy Surratt, whose line of highly covetable brushes are based on principles learned in the calligraphy brush mecca of Kumano, Japan. Below, Surratt shares his fail-safe strategies for a successful brush bath.
A Weekly Washing is a Must
How often should you wash your makeup brushes? “For optimal application and the truest color payoff, it’s important to use clean brushes,” says Surratt. “If you apply a similar makeup look daily, I recommend washing your brushes thoroughly once a week.” That said, “you may need to wash them more often, if you regularly change your colors.”
Treat Your Brushes Like Your Hair
“Washing your brushes can [seem like] a chore, so create an experience that’s enjoyable,” Surratt suggests. To carry out this objective, he reaches for Oribe’s Signature Shampoo, which has an addictive lemon and bergamot scent and is gentle enough for even delicate natural hairs.
Deep Clean With Dish Soap
If a brush is entirely caked in foundation or a sponge is soaked in silicones and oils, on the other hand, Surratt says that Dawn dish soap “works wonders” for degreasing. Be careful of “cleansers that have a high alcohol content or contain harsh solvents, as they can loosen the glue that holds the brush together, eventually affecting the life of the brush.”
Lather and Rinse—But No Need to Repeat
“Put some cleanser on a small dish. Wet your brush, making sure to wash only the top part of the brush that comes into contact with makeup and skin, then tap it into the soap to dilute the concentration a bit,” says Surratt. Next, work the brush back and forth in the palm of your hand to create a lather, then rinse it with tepid water until all of the soap is gone.
Proper Drying Is Paramount
“Shake out the excess water and pat the bristles with a clean towel to get out as much moisture as possible,” Surratt advises. Then roll up one end of the towel, placing the handle of the brush on the rolled part so that the head of the brush is angled slightly down. “You don’t want any water seeping into the handle because that can affect the bundling of the bristles as well as the handle itself,” he says. If you need your brushes dry by morning, place them on a cookie sheet padded with a Silpat baking mat as an extra layer of protection, and place them in a gas oven. No need to switch the oven on, as “the pilot light adds a bit of warmth and helps them dry quickly overnight.”
Look for Signs Your Brushes Are Ready to Be Replaced
“If a brush begins to shed its bristles excessively, it may be time to replace it,” says Surratt. Rest assured, though: “If you care for your brushes with a bit of TLC, they should last for years. In my opinion, many brushes seem to get better and softer over time.”
Surratt Beauty Artistique Concealer Brush Petite
Surratt Beauty Artistique Face Brush